Hunger Stories
by Bethany Prange, St. Louis Area Foodbank She remembers it was a cold day in February, with subzero wind chills. In fact, Dianna can remember almost every detail of that Saturday in 2007. It was the day she lost everything. In the small town of Salem, Ill., news usually travels fast. But on this day, Dianna Wood worked her regular shift at the tire shop, completely unaware. “The fire department came in with a flat tire and said, ‘can you hurry up? We gotta get back to the fire.’ I said, ‘Oh. Where’s the fire?’” When the firefighter said the fire was on Summertime Road, Dianna still didn’t register that it could be her address. She checked her phone. No one had called. “I didn’t believe it,” Dianna says. Maybe it was shock. Maybe it was denial. But Dianna didn’t even leave work. Finally, an hour before quitting time, she headed for home. “It was a single lane…
by Bethany Prange, St. Louis Area Foodbank Brenda and Brian were high school sweethearts from neighboring small towns in Randolph County, Illinois. He was from Percy; she was from Steelville. They met, incidentally, because his sister and her brother were dating. While their siblings’ didn’t stay together, Brenda and Brian did. They married in 1988. The young couple found a home together in Percy. Brian took a job doing foundry work and Brenda started a part-time job at the hospital. In 1991, they had their first child. Bradley was a healthy baby, and at first, they had no reason to suspect he was sick. But when Bradley was three months old, he began losing weight. Brenda and Brian began to notice the baby wheezing and struggling to breathe. “We couldn’t figure out what was wrong,” Brenda recalls. “Right before he turned a year old, we had an incident at home where he quit breathing.” The frantic parents called…
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